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There is some speculation that Chad Ochocinco could land with the Patriots when the lockout comes to a close. The Patriots have had success taking talented players with less than perfect pasts. Does he make sense for New England though?
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At 33 he is no longer the threat that he once was. Ocho has just one 1000 yard season in the past three year, and at 1047 yards it was well off the 1374 he averaged from 2003-2007. 43 (8.6 TDs per season) of his 66 career touchdowns came from that stretch giving him an average of. The past three years he averaged 806  yards and 5.7 touchdowns. He averaged 92.4 receptions from 03-07 and just 64 over the past three years.
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Everything depends on Ochocinco’s mental state. If he commits himself to the game, like he did in 2009, Ocho can put up solid numbers once again. He would have to limit some of the sideshow activities and focus on football.
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The thing the Patriots have going for them is they are not afraid to step on toes. Randy Moss was abruptly shown the door when he started to create tension in New England’s locker room. When players’ worth on the field no longer justifies their paychecks, the Patriots aren’t afraid to move on. With a strong-minded coach and quarterback, the Patriots simply wouldn’t put up with Ocho’s ways.
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Most of the drama is usually occurs when his team isn’t winning. When things were going good in Cincinnati, Ocho’s antics were cute and funny. When they were losing it was looked at as a distraction. If the Patriots were to continue their success, which is a strong possibility, then it should be less of an issue for Ochocinco to walk the line.
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While he would’t replace Randy Moss as a deep threat, Ocho would help. Deion Branch did an admirable job for the Patriots following his trade from Seattle, but he would likely have a hard time holding off Ocho for snaps.
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Ocho’s days of being a WR1 are long over. Mostly he would be a WR3 that could potentially produce like a WR2. We’ll just have to stay tuned to see where he lands.
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Also check out:


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It’s Thanksgiving time, and what better way to thank my wonderful readers than to run a contest with a cool prize. The prize, is a sweet fantasy football shirt from SMW Clothing. Not only can you beat all of your friends in fantasy every week, but you can look good doing it.
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So how do you win the contest? Simple. Whoever guesses the combined yardage that Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco have against the Jets on Thanksgiving night without going over wins. No repeat answers.
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So leave a comment with your best guess and be sure to check out SMW Clothing.

The Bengals have been relatively quiet this offseason. That’s a good thing because for them it usually means arrests. They did add Antonio Bryant to give Ochocinco some help. The Bengals look to have plenty of weapons (figuratively not literally) on the offensive side of the ball.


Fantasy Playoff Schedule
: Moderate
The Bengals have one cupcake match-up against the Browns sandwiched between tilts with Pittsburgh on the road and San Diego at home. While the Week 14 & 16 match-ups aren’t juicy, you’ll probably roll with most of your top guns.


Five Star Fantasy Options

Cedric Benson – Benson followed up his impressive end to the 2008 season with a 1251 yard, 6 TD 2009 campaign. With Larry Johnson moving on to Washington, there is no clear threat to his carries.

Chad Ochocinco – I should technically call him Chad Cero Revis after getting shut down by Revis not once, but twice to close out the year. That said, he returned to form with a 72-1047-9 season. With Antonio Bryant on board, Ocho should get a little more breathing room.


Four Star Fantasy Options
Carson Palmer – Palmer had a nice TD-INT ratio (21-13), completion percentage (60.5) and passer rating (83.6). What he lacked was passing yardage. There were 17 QBs who threw for more yards than his 3094. The addition of Bryant and rookie TE Jermaine Gresham should help. He remains a low-end QB1 or a high-end QB2.


Three Star Fantasy Options
Antonio Bryant – Bryant’s 2009 season was pretty much a lost cause thanks to injuries and Tampa Bay’s ineptitude. He gets a new lease on life with the Bengals and should be a solid WR3 this year.

Bengals Defense/Special Teams - I don’t think their defense will be as stout as last year, but they do have some favorable match-ups (Browns twice, Bucs, Bills). They also face the Pats, Ravens twice, Falcons, Dolphins, Colts, Steelers, Chargers, Jets, and Saints. In other words, don’t use them as your #1 fantasy defense.


Two Star Fantasy Options

Jermaine Gresham – It usually takes rookie TEs some time to adjust, but Gresham should be able to make an impact sooner rather than later. He has great size and will help Palmer attack the middle of the field, as well as providing a red zone target.


One Star Fantasy Options

Andre Caldwell – Caldwell is a decent slot receiver, and has some value in PPR leagues, but has very little upside.


Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews
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I’m going to look at the matchups each week and pick five fantasy starters that could be in for a tough week.  Here’s a look at players who could struggle this week.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers - You have to play him because he’s taking on St. Louis, but there is a good chance that this game gets out of hand early and the Pack let Ryan Grant handle the heavy lifting.

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans - Johnson has a tough matchup this week playing the Jets on the road.  You can’t bench your first-round pick in Week 3, especially after his monster performance against the Texans, but expect something closer to his Week 1 numbers.

Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit Lions - It seems like I’m picking on the second-year backs in the early going.  I’ll pile on with Kevin Smith.  I don’t like his matchup against Washington.  If he’s not active in the passing game, it will be a long day for his fantasy owners.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs - Bowe faces the Eagles this week.  That ought to be a lot of fun, especially after they got crushed by the Saints.  You almost have to play him, but don’t pencil him in for too many points.

Chad Ochocinco, WR, Cincinnati Bengals - Ocho gets to go up against the Steelers this week.  It’s a home game for the Bengals, but still a tough draw.  Carson Palmer will have his hands full.  Ocho and Palmer were both impressive against Green Bay, but the Steelers are going to be fired up after falling to the Bears.

We’re kicking off a new series called the Fourth & 1 Debate in which one fantasy football writer posts a question to a panel of fantasy football writers from some of the top fantasy football sites.

Our friend Eric Stashin, the Rotoprofessor, kicked things off.  Click here to see the full article

Here’s my response:

While it is difficult to make any rash decisions after one game, the fact of the matter is that some players are to good to drop, but too bad to play.  Sometimes those players snap out of their funk.  Other times they just continue to struggle and when you finally do cut them, you missed out on all of the early season surprises.

One player I would consider cutting is Laveranues Coles.  In his debut with the Bengals he caught just one pass for 11 yards. He wasn’t facing the mighty Pittsburgh defense, rather the lowly Denver Broncos, who ranked 26th against the pass last year.  He was targeted just five times, and managed to drop three passes.  Chad Ochocinco was clearly Carso Palmer’s go-to-guy, and second-year WR Andre Caldwell looked good with 6 receptions.  Preseason superstar Chris Henry played a limited role because of a thigh injury, but his role should expand going forward.

Aside from having a lot of competition for touches, Coles is playing in a offense that could struggle to put points on the board.  Palmer is going to take some time to work off the rust.  At this point, I’m not that confident he’ll do it anytime soon.  With a bye and four games against Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the next eight weeks, there wouldn’t be many opportunities to even give Coles a shot.  At this point, I think it would be best to cut ties with Coles and pick up someone with more upside.

Panelists
Junkyard Jake of www.junkyardjake.com
Ryan Lester of www.lesterslegends.com
Paul Greco of www.fantasypros911.com
Bryce McRae of www.kffl.com
Kurt Turner of www.top-fantasy-football.com
Eric Stashin of www.rotoprofessor.com
Lee of www.footballjabber.com
Smitty of www.fantasyfootballxtreme.com

I’m going to look at the matchups each week and pick five fantasy starters that could be in for a tough week.  Here’s a look at players who could struggle this week.

Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks – Matt had his way against the Rams last week, but I think that’s going to be a familiar tune in St. Louis.  He faces the 49ers next week, and while they aren’t going to confuse anyone for Pittsburgh, Mike Singletary has his team believing and they are going to get after it on Defense.  Kurt Warner didn’t look particularly well against the Niners last week, and even without two of his top three wides, he still has more weapons than Hasselbeck.  Bonus:  Don’t count on Julius Jones to repeat.

Steve Slaton, Houston Texans – Albert Haynesworth may not be in Tennessee anymore, but that Titan Defense is still very tough.  A trendy pick to earn a Wildcard spot, Houston is in danger of falling to 0-2.  Tennessee is also in danger of falling to 0-2.  They are going to do their best to shut down the rushing attack and put pressure on Matt Schaub.  Bonus:  Don’t rely on Schaub this week.

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears - Forte faced a tough Packer defense to open the season and things get worse.  He takes on Pittsburgh at home.  He was limited to 55 yards on 25 carries (2.2 ypc) in the opener, and, perhaps even more concerning, he did not catch a pass after leading all RBs in that category last week.  One bright spot is not having to face Troy Polamalu, but the forecast is still not sunny for Forte.  Bonus:  Avoid Jay Cutler as well.

Roy Williams, Dallas Cowboys - Roy started the season off on the right foot with 3 catches for 86 yards and a score last week against Tampa Bay, but the Giants are going a much more difficult challenge for the Boys.  The G-Men are going to get after Romo, and I see him relying more on Witten and his Backs this week.

Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals - Ocho had a nice game with 5 catches for 89 yards against Denver.  They are going to find out the Packers’ defense is much stiffer than the Broncos’.  To me this could be one of those ugly games where they muster only 150-180 passing yards or so, which would make Ocho a risky play.  Bonus:  Avoid all Bengals this week.

Here are some Wide Receivers and Tight Ends putting up serious preseason numbers.  Let’s take a look and see if they have a chance to translate some of that preseason production into fantasy worth in regular season play. 

Jonathan Stupar, Buffalo Bills - Stupar leads the NFL with 15 preseason receptions for 155 yards and a TD.  He’s third on the Bills’ Tight End depth chart so don’t get any thoughts of fantasy worth.

Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans - Now Cook is a TE with some fantasy value.  The Rookie out of South Carolina has 12 catches for 120 yards in the preseason.  With Tennessee’s limited options in the passing game, Cook could become one of their more reliable targets.  He’s worth taking as a TE2.

Chris Henry, Cincinnati Bengals - As long as he can stay out of Roger Goodell’s office, Henry has a chance to really break out this year.  He has 11 catches for 155 yards and 2 TDs.  Now that he seems to have put his troubles behind him, he could put up huge numbers in a full season.  He is going in the later rounds of fantasy drafts, and could end up putting up WR2 or WR3 numbers. 

Dwayne Bowe catch
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
- For all the talk of Bowe not fitting into the Chiefs’ system or being at odds with Todd Haley, he has looked good in the preseason games with 8 catches for 107 yards and a TD. If you moved him down in your WR rankings, you may want to move him back up.

Troy Williamson, Jacksonville Jaguars - The former #1 bust leads the NFL with 221 preseason receiving yards on 7 caches.  He caught a pair of deep balls for the bulk of the yardage. It’s great to see him make some plays, but I wouldn’t trust him to continue to produce.  His hands have long been a question mark.

Chad Ochocinco TD
Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals
- Ocho has 142 yards on 5 catches.  He even added an Extra Point.  More importantly he has kept relatively quiet.  If he can avoid being a distraction, he should be a real nice WR2 this year.

David Clowney, New York Jets - Clowney is hoping to be the next third year WR to break out.  He has five receptions for 135 yards and 2 TDs this preseason.  He is fighting with Chansi Stuckey to start opposite Jerricho Cotchery.

Justin Harper, Baltimore Ravens - Harper has been productive in the preseason games with 6 catches for 119 yards, but has dropped too many passes in practice.  For a team with a limited passing game, dropping passes is a good way to be buried on the depth chart.

Laurent Robinson, St. Louis Rams - Laurent has taken advantage of Donnie Avery’s foot injury by catching 7 passes for 117 yards.  He is going to start for the Rams so he’s worth grabbing in deep leagues, but he likely won’t be a viable fantasy option this year.

Robert Meachem, New Orleans Saints - Meachem has been a sleeper candidate the past two years now.  He has 5 catches for 106 yards, including a 64-yard TD.  If he can get on the field, he has a great chance to be productive in that offense.  Draft him as a fantasy reserve and hope for the best.

Legedu Naanee, San Diego Chargers – This list is littered with third-year WRs.  Legedu has 5 catches for 84 yards and 2 TDs.  He is buried as the Chargers #4 WR behind Vincent Jackson, Chris Chambers, and Malcom Floyd.  It’s also an offense that throws heavily to TE Antonio Gates and RBs LT and Darren Sproles.  Don’t expect much from a fantasy perspective from Naanee this year.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

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By Marc Mancuso

Either because they are coming off down years, inuries, or are simply overlooked on their own teams, these are players which can be had at a bargain this year and could produce excellent returns for the GM willing to take on some risk. Championships are won in the middle and late rounds of drafts so be sure not to overlook these guys.

All-Undervalued Team
QB: Matt Hasselbeck, SEA — A healthy back, and some WR’s this year (TJ Housmanzadeh, and the return of Nate Burleson) combined with a suspect running game means Hass will be putting the ball up a lot this year. In 2007, he was 4th in pass attempts with 562 with fewer weapons than he has now. Hasselbeck has been going very late in drafts (round 12 and beyond) but he has the potential to put up low end QB1 stats.

RB: Larry Johnson, KC – Yes he’s a knucklehead and has a lot of wear on his tires. But at 28 and looking very good in camp thus far, Johnson has plenty left in the tank to put in solid numbers in a contract year.

RB: Ryan Grant, GB — Grant was a first round pick in 2008 in most FFL drafts. After a holdout, minor injuries and a slow start, Grant came on in the second half of 08, still producting 1200+ yards on the ground. Despite this, many owners were scared off by his totals, and he is slipping to round 4 or 5 in many drafts now. Grant is healthy, in camp, and will rebound and should produce numbers which will equal low end #1 level stats.

WR: Chad Ochocinco, CIN — Ryan Fitzpatrick is no longer a Bengal. Carson Palmer is 100% healed from elbow problems. TJ Housyoumomma is in Seattle. To think that #85 will not rebound after an awful 2008 would be a mistake. He’s only 31 years old and capable of turning in monster games. Ochocinco has slipped as far as the 6th round in many drafts, and can be a sweet value pick as your #2 WR.

WR: Eddie Royal, DEN – I’m still seeing Eddie Royal going in round 7 of drafts. In an offense like Josh McDaniel’s which is dynamic and a QB (Kyle Orton) who is not a downfield passer, Royal seems like a lock to produce stats similar to Wes Welker. Coming off 91 receptions in his rookie year, Royal made a very quick transition to the pro game, and runs fantastic routes. He could easily emerge as a low end #1, Top End #2 just like Welker has been the past 2 seasons. Consistency is what wins championships.

WR: Torry Holt, JAX — Last year was dreadful if you owned Holt. This season, he gets a chance to revive his career with Jacksonville. I’m seeing Holt go as late as the 12th round in some drafts. This is a guy who before last year was a lock to produce 1200 yards and 8 TD’s every year. David Garrard has never had a viable WR (sorry Matt Jones) and this seems like an excellent value and 1000+ Yards + 6 TD’s seems very possible.

TE: Jeremy Shockey, NO — With another year of working in Sean Payton’s high powered offense, Shockey has the potential for a nice rebound year. He was becoming a regular target for Drew Brees in 2008 but injuries hampered his development. Fantasy owners have plenty of reasons to pass on Shockey, but in a deep crop of TE’s he represents high upside at a very low price (I have been in drafts where he wasn’t even drafted). If Brees can make Lance Moore, and Billy Miller valuable, imagine what he can do with a talent like Shockey? His biggest competition may be between his ears, but Shockey reportedly has looked great in camp thus far, so the potential to return to 800 yards and 6-7 TD’s makes him a nice late value pick.

Laveranues Coles Bengals
Image from ESPN Photos

As long as Carson Palmer is healthy, he’s likely the best QB Coles has ever played with (at the time, relax Favre fans).  Though he throws a good deep ball, he also made a living hitting Housh on shorter routes.  Now that Housh is gone, Coles can fill that role. Plus, if Chad Ochocinco is truly back to form, Coles should find plenty of opening to do his thing.  He’s a good route runner with terrific hands and toughness.  I don’t know if he can match the TD total (7) from last year simply because Chris Henry is Palmer’s weapon of choice in close, but Coles should be a good value, especially in PPR leagues.

Coles will likely be selected in the 7th or 8th round of your fantasy draft, and should be good for 85 receptions for 1000 yards and 5 TDs.  I wouldn’t be enamored with his as my WR2, but he’s a solid WR3.

Chad Ochocinco TD
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

Which Ochocinco will show up?  The one that averaged 1339 yards and 8 TDs from 2002-2007 or the one that phoned in the 2008 season?  He has said all the right things this offseason and has been relatively quiet considering who we’re dealing with.  He plans to tweet during games, but as long as it only costs him money and not playing time, I’m not too concerned.  He is going to draw attention to himself.  That’s what he does.  As long as he’s productive, I can care less.  Personally I don’t see what the big deal if players tweet during games.  I don’t know why the NFL would be opposed to something that would improve the communication with the fans.

Back to Ocho.  He admitted he didn’t work out last year, which rightfully upset Bengals fans and his fantasy owners.  He’s in much better shape and has been on the same page as Carson Palmer.  He is a slight risk as a WR2 simply because of his mindset, but he easily can put up WR1 numbers.  He is going in the 4th or 5th rounds in fantasy drafts, but he could easily put up 2nd round numbers.  I think the risk is worth it personally.  I think he’s good for 80 catches for 1100 yards and 7 TDs in 2009.


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